Thomas Earl Tise Jr. (Earl), 89, died Jan. 13, while undergoing surgery to diagnose chest pains he was experiencing. He was born on Feb. 26, 1926, in Houston, to Earl and Rosalie (Weckter) Tise.

thomas earl tise jr

Thomas Earl Tise Jr.



Earl Tise and his family moved to Sugar Land, Texas, when he was 8. His father, who also went by Earl, was master electrician at the Imperial Sugar plant for many years. Earl Jr., or Junior as he was known as a child, inherited a strong work ethic from his dad that lasted to his last day as Earl Jr. was still doing consulting work in his final week. As he told his daughter Katy just two days before passing “When I turn 90, I’m going to quit working and relax a little!” Earl Jr. was a gifted athlete in high school and went on to play college basketball and even a little semi-pro baseball.

In 1943, with World War II well under way, he joined the Navy at the age of 17. He served his country on the USS Saugus as a radar man, making several tours of duties in the South Pacific. After the war, he enrolled at Southwest Texas State College studying engineering for two years. In 1948, he married Paula May Farley, moved to Houston and transferred to the University of Houston. Just a short time later he turned in his books and started in the pipeline industry.

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Tise worked for his father-in-law, the long-time and well known pipeliner, Lloyd “Mizzou” Farley, who started pipelining in the 1920s and had his own pipeline construction firm. Tise was fortunate to learn the industry from a great pipeliner. He had a 50-plus-year career working his way up the ladder to construction manager. He worked on five continents and was involved with building major oil and gas pipeline systems in Argentina and Algeria, and constructed thousands of miles of pipelines in a dozen other countries including the United States and Canada. Working for Bechtel in the 1970s, he was one of the first sent to Alaska in 1973 to start work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. He was instrumental in starting the construction of the haul road to the Yukon River, and later oversaw the construction of Spread 1, crossing the mountainous Thompson Pass and Keystone Canyon, some of the most difficult pipeline construction ever. He built pipelines far and wide from as far south as the Straits of Magellan and north of the Arctic Circle, through the Sahara Desert and in the mountainous jungles of Papau New Guinea. There were not many extremes he did not cross, but one of the most unusual job duties he had was taking a few mules with a handful of native guides on a hike to an elevation more than 17,000 ft high to recover the cargo and remains of a company plane and pilots that crashed carrying the spread payroll in Argentina in the 1950s. Although he “retired” in 1985, he mostly worked full time until just a few years ago.


Tise loved all his travels and almost always took his family with him even taking all five children including nine-month-old Molly to the remote jungles of northern Argentina in the late 1950s. His hobby was his family. He had his great-grandchildren over most weekends for stay-overs until the very end. His greatest tribute is the family still congregated at his and Grandma’s home for the holidays and frequent gatherings. There was hardly a week that went by where there were not at least several grandkids or great-grandkids staying at “Grandpa’s and Grandma’s.” He was very proud of all his children’s and grandchildren’s and their spouses,’ and great-grandchildren’s accomplishments and was extremely proud of two of his grandsons who followed him in serving their country with military service.

Tise is survived by his loving wife Paula Farley Tise of 67 years, son and daughter-in-law Tommy and Jane Tise, daughter and son-in-law Nancy and Mike Sageman, daughter and son-in-law Katy and Jimmy Platt, daughter and son-in-law Molly and Chuck Morrison, and grandchildren Thomas Tise and wife Rachel, grandson Darrell Tise and wife Crystal, grandson Dustin Sageman and wife Emily, grandson Doug Tise and fiancé Nikki Joyce, grandson Robert Tise, granddaughter Eva Hevron and husband Parker, grandson Jason Strunk and Mitchell Strunk and wife Jodi, and grandson Evan Platt, and grandchildren Coralyn and Christopher Tise, and eight great-grandchildren, and brother and sister-in-law Charlie and Frances Tise and two nephews and eight nieces.

He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Doug Tise, parents Earl and Rosalie Tise, brother Buddy Tise and sister Patsy Tise.

Funeral services will be held Jan. 16, at the Chapel in the Hills Church in Wimberley, Texas and burial followed at the Wimberley Cemetery.  Services were handled by Thomason Funeral Home of Wimberley,Texas.  Donations may be made to West Texas Rehab Center, 3001 S. Jackson St., San Angelo, TX 76904 or westtexasrehab.org.